What To Expect From A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
A pedestrian accident can be catastrophic, especially when the other driver is traveling at a high speed. If you find yourself being hit by a car, you may end up with a permanent injury. Or, your loved one may have been struck by a car and was killed. After the accident, there is no reason to pay for medical bills yourself. You have every right to seek compensation from the other motorist for your injuries.
Here’s What To Do After Being Hit By A Car In Kansas City
After being hit by a car, immediately call for an ambulance even if you believe that you are not badly injured. Many injuries only become apparent later on when you begin to experience more severe symptoms. Inform the healthcare provider about the incident that lead to your injuries. This will allow your doctor to know what to look for and will create documentation that proves that your injury was the result of the accident.
Ideally, you should document the accident by taking photographs of the scene and also your injuries. However, don’t do this if you may exacerbate your injuries as a result. Ask for the insurance card of the motorist who hit you and his or her contact information. You may also want to speak with any witnesses and ask for their contact information.
Don’t Take Any Further Steps Without a Lawyer
You have the right to represent yourself. However, if you were hit by a car, there is likely a lot of money on the line and you will need the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer in Kansas City. An attorney will make sure that you avoid common mistakes that may lead to your claim being denied or may lead to you receiving a much lower settlement.
While lawyers are often associated with courtrooms, in car accident cases, the case is most often settled out of court with the insurance provider. If the other motorist is driving without insurance, you may attempt to settle out of court with the motorist himself or take him to court. Regardless of which direction you want to turn, a lawyer will help you get there.
Because you were hit as a pedestrian, you will fortunately not be considered at fault in most cases even if you weren’t at a crosswalk. State law requires the driver to pay attention to their surroundings and take any steps possible to avoid hitting you. With a crosswalk accident, you can be almost guaranteed that the driver will be considered responsible for the accident.
However, you do not have the right to run into the streets and have the cars stop as you run across. If you cross a busy street and are not paying attention, you may be at risk of losing a pedestrian accident case.
When Other Parties Are Liable
The motorist may not be entirely at fault. For example, if you were hit because the driver was confused by a defective traffic light, you may have a case against the local municipality as well. It’s important to seek compensation from as many parties as you can because you may run into some roadblocks.
For instance, insurance carriers only insure their customers to a specific dollar amount. Past that, you may be able to sue the motorist directly to recover his assets. However, depending on how high your medical bills are, suing the municipality for negligence may be just what you need to afford the remainder of your bills.
After being hit by a car, you may suffer from:
- A head injury
- A pelvic injury
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- A spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injuries and head injuries, in particular, can paralyze you and may leave you with long-term cognitive problems. Even if you’re not paralyzed, broken bones can cause potentially permanent mobility issues. You have every right to seek full compensation for any medical bills no matter how long they keep coming.
The injuries you suffer will entitle you to other damages including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Diminished capacity to earn wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Also, if the other motorist behaved in a reckless or malicious manner, the courts may require that the defendant also pay punitive damages.
An important job of your pedestrian accident lawyer in Kansas City is to help you calculate all of these damages. Then, you will be able to use all of these damages to take one of several steps:
- Create a demand letter to send to the insurance provider
- Settle with the motorist
- Sue the defendant for damages in court
Your attorney will discuss with you which approach would be the best based on the facts of your case.
Hit And Run Accidents
Unfortunately, some motorists flee the scene after they hit you. Others might not even realize that they hit a pedestrian. In an emergency situation like this, try to write down the license plate number if you can do so safely. Either way, with the help of the police, you may be able to find out who hit you.
Not only can you still sue the defendant after a hit and run, but you will be more likely to receive punitive damages. However, the defendant will likely have a defense for the hit and run. The defendant might claim that:
- He didn’t know he hit you
- He wasn’t the driver
- He feared for his life due to another incident
However, if the defendant was successfully convicted of a hit and run, it will be much harder for him to make this case. Unfortunately, in criminal cases, the prosecutor has discretion over whether to try a case. However, even without punitive damages, you’ll still be able to sue the defendant for liability because the burden of proof for civil cases is lower than the burden of proof for criminal cases.
The Road to Financial Compensation
It’s very rare that a pedestrian is responsible for being hit by a car. For this reason, you have every right to fight for the compensation you deserve. If you or a family member was injured or killed after being struck as a pedestrian in Kansas or Missouri, contact us today. Our consultations are free.